Snow storms1 followed by floods2 in England, floods3 in northern Queensland (Australia) and raging bushfires4 on thirty fronts in Victoria (Australia), unseasonal tornados5in the US. These, along with the global recession6 have united many like never before. And where once, one would hear only of local news until word filtered down of events in far off places, today we watch it live with commentaries published on the internet within minutes of these events taking place.
The catch phrase of today is, amongst others, global warming. And though many seem to easily make an argument in its favour, as the people of God, shouldn't we seriously consider whether these things have happened by God's permission or whether they are part of God's judgment? If the former then one could ask, why is God allowing these things which cause so much destruction and ponder, and if the latter, then one should even more seriously seek the face of God.
We know in the last days that perilous times (2 Tim 3:1) will come, and will culminate in the great tribulation. But do we, or are we, neglecting and ignoring the birth pangs (c.f. Mat 24:8; Mark 13:8) themselves? A woman in labour is not ignorant of her birth pangs7; she doesn't ask, “What was that?” during the next set of her contractions. How is it then that much of the Christian world is encouraged by the unity of man, and looks longingly towards a kingdom (supposedly of God) made upon earthly principles, morals and standards?
Can’t we see reflections of this in man’s expulsion from the Garden, the flood in the days of Noah, the mixing up of the languages at the tower of Babel, in Assyria's invasion of the northern kingdom of Israel, Babylon's invasion of the southern kingdom of Judah? Man with his notion of living forever or setting the standard of what is right and wrong and ignoring God, His Word and His principles?
Concerning the bushfires in Victoria, Danny Nalliah of Catch the Fire Ministries in Victoria has blamed the bushfires on the introduction of Abortion Laws in Victoria8 – – which, unsurprisingly, has drawn much media attention9 and public outcry10 , and much back peddling and rebuttals from Christian groups. But surely such a statement seems unlikely (though not impossible in an exclusive sense). More likely is that these “natural” catastrophes, if from God, are a judgement upon all of Victoria's and Australia's sins, all of England's sins, all of America's sins. Birth pangs are just that – a build up to the main event. The tribulation and its ultimate judgment is what will be born – and the birth pangs are glimpses or preludes of that end.
From a worldwide perspective, can’t we see mirrored in Victoria’s fires and England's blizzards, glimpses of Revelation 8:7?
The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. Revelation 8:7 (NAU) 11
In the thanksgiving of the bushfire survivors to their saviours (the fire fighters and emergency crews) we see references to God, but also thankfulness to the unity and goodness of man. And though this is something to be grateful for, in the grand scheme of things we must ask whether or not it is but a unity of rebels against God? In spite of the millions of dollars of aid raised, the international co-operation generated, has Australia, England or the United States repented of their ways and sought God? If they won't now, then it is no surprise that they will blaspheme God during the tribulation.
The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. Revelation 16:8-9 (NAU)
We pray for all those affected by such natural disasters that they may indeed be in good health and prosper in spite of the tragedy. Nevertheless, above all this, we pray that all may repent and seek God while He may be found, and seek the salvation of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Always a society to show hypocrisy with their blasphemy, Sydney (and Australia) again “celebrated” their Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on 7 March. No sooner did we have people grieving over the loss of life and property, and thanking God for their rescue workers, do they (i.e. society in general) show their contempt of God and His Word by openly and publicly cheering the perversions of the wicked. And still, people wonder why judgment comes? Why calamity happens? If any of it is from God then the answer to their questions seem blatantly obvious … though blind and deaf as they are, they won't see or hear it.
This year's mardi gras' theme was “Nations United”, and news websites reported that Australian Surf Lifesavers participated, as did the New South Wales Fire Brigades, whose own website stated, “Firefighters, volunteers and emergency services personnel will march in the 2009 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade to celebrate diversity in the state's emergency services and take fire and safety messages to the streets of Sydney”12. One section of the parade included a banner captioned with “Australia United – Victoria's Bushfires: Remember & Rebuild”; whilst a different sections' float was named “Hardcore Heaven”. A picture on the news.com.au website says it all, with its descriptive caption, “Personal Jesus ... a gay Christ carrying a money-covered cross is escorted by a Roman guard as he marches the Mardi Gras route”.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:6-7
In spite of the so-called “evidence” for global warming, it is interesting that Victoria and South Australia's heat wave (which went on to aid the 2009 Black Saturday fires) resulted in news reports that “Victoria is facing its worst heat wave in a century” http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24968430-1243,00.html and “If Adelaide also reaches 40 degrees on Thursday and Friday, it will equal the longest such hot spell in 101 years.” http://theland.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/agribusiness-and-general/finance/southeast-aust-heatwave-among-worst-in-100-years/1418563.aspx Global Warming? Then what happened 100 years ago? Furthermore, it is interesting that that icy island called Greenland is once again flourishing with life and greenery. Was it man made “global warming” 1000 years ago that caused this when the Vikings colonised the region? Is so called “global warming” a man made phenomenon or something natural, something cyclical? The point is that long or extended periods of warmer weather are not unique to our modern day and age … and as such the “evidence” for global warming is not as obvious as many tout. Though we have cars on our roads today, it was the beasts of burden (livestock, horses, cattle) that were commonplace yester-year; and the plains animals of Africa (such as zebra, gazelle and antelope) and buffalo of America which once were innumerable and only today are making a reasonable comeback. Yet what do the scientists tell us about equivalent CO2 production? “According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport.” http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html .Interesting that we now have more and more cars (which comparatively produce less CO2 equivalent emissions) and less and less plains animals (which comparatively produce more CO2 equivalent emissions) and yet global warming is a man-made problem that is a fact.” So we are told!
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